The Firehose Project - Week 10

Oh boy week 10 is all done. My time is coming to a near end and it’s sort of depressing in a bittersweet sort of way. Anyways lets just get on with what I learned over the last week. My week consisted of Chess logic, tests, coding challenges, and taking a bit of a breather to enjoy some laughs. The week seemed to fly by far too fast and each week seems to have that same effect, strange how time feels like it’s going by faster not only in the summer but when you know you are getting closer to the end of your goals.

The biggest thing that held my attention this week was working on some chess logic for our group chess project. My task was to create some logic that determines whether or not a move on the board is a valid move. The focus of determining a valid move was focusing on the King. The King in chess is a relatively easy piece to create those moves, in theory. It can move one square in all directions, minus castling and borders. While this seemed like a small task it was an important task and it helped lay the groundwork for all other moves the pieces can make on the board. It also wasn’t all that easy, I had to do a lot of research and understand certain concepts that I wasn’t 100% familiar with, which was awesome! I love learning new things so the challenge was quite rewarding.

Once I had a valid move I had to test that valid move and I’m glad I did because my valid move logic was broken. I never would’ve known had I not written a test for it. Testing really is starting to become engrained in my mind and while it can be difficult to zoom out and think of a function as a whole it is very much rewarding when you get a test running and passing. The test let me find my faults and those faults got fixed resulting in a stronger application. I’ve really been enjoying the whole process and as a result I’ve been starting to apply my tests to as much as I can so I can get better and better at them. They’re not perfect, nor do I expect them to be, but they’re functional and they’re helping lay the groundwork for all future programming endeavours.

A major part about becoming a great Rails programmer is becoming a great Ruby programmer and that is my goal. Will I accomplish that by the time the bootcamp is over, hell no! However, I will at least have a great foundation to build off and that is precisely why I’ve been trying to add as many Firehose coding challenges (which are quite difficult) and codewars challenges in my weekly routine. Out of everything that I have learned in the 10 weeks of the bootcamp and the previous few months of self learning my weakness is in raw Ruby coding. Exposure is probably the main reason why I struggle but it is gradually getting less frustrating and more rewarding each challenge I take on. My skills are far from expert or even intermediate but my determination is fierce and I am confident that the emphasis theFirehoseProject has put on complex coding challenges is going to pay off massively in the long run. I won’t give up on the pursuit of being a great Ruby programmer or a great Rails programmer and coding challenges will help with that pursuit.

I’ve definitely saved the best for last and really it has nothing to do with learning how to program and only has a relation to theFirehoseProject in a roundabout way but I got granted a scholorship to attend this years Madison+ Ruby conference! It may not be Ruby Conf or Rails Conf but it’s a fairly good sized Ruby that’s basically in my backyard and that’s epic! Not only is it near by but it will be my first Ruby conference which I’m super stoked about. The conference takes place the weekend before my birthday (awesome way to celebrate) and it has a ton of sponsors that are strong in the Ruby and Rails community. It’s going to be super informative, a great social event, and just an amazing experience all around. My passion for software development led me down this road, theFirehoseProject encouraged me socialize and go to meetups, and my dedication to my new skillset has emboldened me to pursue yet another dream.

Like I said in the beginning week 10 is over and it’s starting to get a bit bittersweet as I near the end of my time at theFirehoseProject. I know that I may not have the structure of the course or the guidance each week from the founders and mentors but what the best part is is that this community will always be family. Each week I reflect more and more on my journey and every week it just reassures me that I did the right thing, I made the right decision, and I’m exactly where I am suppose to be. I look forward to all the experiences coming to me and everyday I continue to hone my skills.

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